There are several tools and software applications that have helped me become more productive in my business. This post will discuss a few of these resources and how they can increase your productivity. I would have named this post “A Practical Resource Guide ” but I have one with that name. Anyhow, the following is my personal resource guide list that covers many areas from resources to software and finally to social media.
I have been using Evernote since March 2011 and I would say that I could not imagine working without it anymore. t is in effect a note – taking software but it doe also have many uses such as organizing, bookmarking and clipping useful information from websites. This is where I store all of my online dictionaries/glossaries , marketing ideas, blogging notes tagged by subject and by notebooks. It has a wonderful feature where you can share the notebooks(folders)with another user. It is a great feature when working in a team project where you can share or email your files with fellow translators. I recommend it fully.
Awesome Screenshot http://awesomescreeshot.com
This is a Firefox, Chrome or Safari add-on that allows you to capture portions of text, highlight , circle, annotate or underline material so you can share and email. This works well when you are proofreading and correcting material without altering the original content. Again if you are working on a group project with other translators it is a way of suggesting ideas without altering the original content. It also allows you to gray out sensitive information when you email. It reminds me of the methods used before computers. To me there is still something about circles, arrows and side notes that I find helpful. This is a way of doing that.
This is a remote server application that allows you to take your files with you and access whenever needed. When you upload this file it downloads under the “My Documents”folder . When you work remotely you drag the files needed into Dropbox file and access them from the their website . I have used it sparingly I must admit but do see its benefit. I got used to my thumb drive or memory stick with a little added security that I am still in control of my files. Given that they are saved in a remote server when you upload, the idea of someone else having my information gets me a bit uneasy.
This Customer Resource Management tool is the one I use for all my contacts and updates. It is a hub where you can integrate Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, Google Calendar, Outlook and soon Linked-in (you can upload contacts but not automatically). I have used it for over two years now and although I do love it because it does keep everything about your contacts together, it lacks in many ways too such as a follow-up feature. Yet it searches Google for everything about the contact and for marketing purposes this is great. The shared contacts is great too so as to see which other people they know that you may have in your database. It is a free service and web-based so there is no download. I am still waiting for the upgrade so as to have the full integration with Linked-in and follow-up feature.
WordWeb- A Windows-based dictionary (monolingual) that serves a quick reference for a particular word. There are many others just check out http://www.dicts.info/offline2.php
Wordfinder- http://www.wordfinder.com/ Allows look up in various dictionary resources from any Windows-based tool and on the other hand IntelliWebSearch http://www.intelliwebsearch.com/ does the same although it searches internet resources and offline as well.
Yet just yesterday I stumbled upon TransTools Suite http://www.translatortools.net for Word and all the Microsoft programs and although they had been around since 2007, I had not used their services at all. By what I read is integrates fully with TRADOS and Wordfast. I will do my research on this one and although it seems straightforward I will have to check that one out.
Finally, one of my marketing efforts is using social media to promote my blogs and my website because of the most difficult things to do is to drive traffic to both. So you have to find ways to promote them all over the internet. I use Twitter and Facebook ( I have a fan page and link my blog there) extensively for this but that cannot be the only areas. Using bookmarking sites, like Digg, Reddit, Delicious, Stumbleupon can help you get your site read my many, many people. However, that also depends on the followers you have so truly the first thing will be to begin participating and th contributing to these sites, and like Twitter, people will begin to follow . I had opened these accounts back in 2008 but abandoned them for a while and as yo have seen people are fickle, if you are not contributing they drop you quite quickly. So this is where these internet aggregator like Friendfeed and Ping.fm are useful. When you use Friendfeed, you link all your accounts like Twitter and all the accounts you belong to, and when you update an account you update ALL which reduces time. I read a blog post one day that summed it all with these two: You update with Ping.fm but you receive all updates through Friendfeed and that is the difference between the two.